While trauma to the knees can happen unexpectedly, you can nevertheless take certain steps to prevent knee pain and injuries that typically occur. This is especially true for individuals who are actively involved in sports or pursuing a healthy lifestyle. Even those who may be sedentary can experience issues such as knee pain as the result of gaining weight. As such, taking care of your knees by making use of one or more preventive measures can go a long way to providing you with the continued mobility you desire.
Maintain Normal Weight
Weight gain is not often associated with knee pain, but in fact, it can be a major contributor. For each additional pound you add to your body’s frame, you subsequently add approximately 4 pounds of additional pressure to your knees. You will undoubtedly feel the difference when doing something as simple as taking a walk. As a result, working to maintain your body’s normal weight or losing the pounds that will allow you to reach this mark will likely improve any painful symptoms you may have been experiencing.
Increase Muscle Flexibility
Improving the flexibility of the muscles that surround the knee will help prevent injuries. This point is important as to keep in mind as you advance in age because your muscles will begin to lose their normal flexibility. The muscles you want to concentrate on are the hip adductors, the gluteals, the knee extensors and the knee flexors. The key is to implement a stretching program that targets each of these muscle groups, both before any physical activity and afterwards.
Increase Muscle Strength
In addition to muscle flexibility, you want to increase the strength of the muscles that around the knee as well. The hip muscles, quadriceps muscle group and the hamstring muscle group should all be the target of strength enhancing exercises for knee injury prevention. While you can use weights to accomplish this, exercises that focus on body weight movement and/or the use of resistance cords are equally suitable.
Wear the Proper Footwear
Wearing the proper shoes is one of the easiest ways to help prevent injury to the knee. A good running shoe, for example, will reduce impact shock of physical activity, as well as increase general stability. Conversely, the wearing of high heels, fashion benefits aside, should be avoided whenever possible. High hills place an exceeding amount of pressure on your quadriceps, muscles that are working to straighten out your knees. An interesting note here is that studies have found that the use of walking poles are also helpful in reducing impact while walking/hiking – a fact that remains true regardless of the type terrain being traversed.
Of course, these are just a few suggestions, but you will find that incorporating them into your physical activity regiment will assist in reducing knee pain and preventing unwanted injuries. It is always recommended that you visit with your doctor before beginning any new exercise plan and a trip to an Orthopedic Doctor Phoenix can be particularly helpful in this context.